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What Sounds Do Alligators Make?

There are two types of sounds that an adult alligator makes: the bellow and the hiss. A baby alligator, on the other hand, chirps.

Alligators do not make these sounds for nothing. They use it to communicate. Generally speaking, a bellow is a call for a mate, a hiss is a warning, and a chirp is a call for another baby gator or for the mother.

What Sounds Do Alligators Make

Do alligators hiss or growl?

Alligators do not growl. When they bellow, the sound is so deep that it sounds like a growl to a human. Alligators do hiss, though.

If one listens to an alligator bellowing, one would think of a growl. Although it may sound surprising, it is not exactly a voice to send away predators. Rather, it is a mating call.

Related Article: Are Alligators Nocturnal, Diurnal or Crepuscular?

Why does an alligator hiss?

An alligator hisses to issue a warning. Alligators hiss when a threat is too close or if it is about to attack. The thing is that no one really knows when an attack will happen.

Here are some situations when an alligator may hiss:

  • The person is too close
  • The alligator is protecting a nest
  • The person is close to a nest
  • The person or animal is close to the alligator’s offspring

When an alligator hisses, it may also move its head to signal that it is about to attack. It may also lunge forward and snap its jaws.

Do alligators attack people?

Yes, but only for territorial or protective reasons. Alligators do not attack people for food. Alligators, in general, are scared of humans and would rather hide than have a confrontation.

However, alligators are also opportunistic feeders. It is why some humans got attacked by gators. Most of these are little children or frail, elderly people.

It is not uncommon for campers to get attacked by gators. There are several instances when campers got too close to an alligator’s nest without knowing.

These campers just wake up at night hearing an alligator hiss. It is a scary sound. The good thing is that many of these campers are lucky to have left the situation unscathed.

It is not wise to camp in gator territory. They may be afraid of humans, but they know that they can defend themselves if they are under threat.

Related Article: Are There Alligators in Oklahoma?

What sounds do alligators make when mating?

When alligators mate, or when they are looking for a mate, they bellow. But then, it is actually more complicated than this. Alligators make many sounds when mating.

Most of the time, it is the big male gators that bellow. On top of this, they also hiss. Some will even pop their jaws. Others will slap their tails.

Alligators do all sorts of things to attract a mate. Although female alligators also do it, it is the males that make the impressive sounds.

When an alligator bellows, it sucks in a lot of air. Then, the alligator pushes this air with a lot of force. The resulting sound is a bellow that sounds like a growl.

The effect is a scary sound. It also means that this alligator is ready to do battle. A louder bellow means that the alligator is bigger than the others in the pond.

Big alligators want to dominate. Female alligators are likely to get attracted to gators that are huge. Big male gators are powerful, and the females want this power passed on to their offspring. 

Do alligators do anything else during the mating season?

Yes, alligators do what is called the water dance. No, they do not dance, but they make the water on top of them look like it is dancing. The gators have been doing this for 17 million years.

Every spring, the male alligator would submerge so that its back is just below the surface of the water. Then, this alligator makes low-frequency sounds that humans cannot hear.

The consequence of this low-frequency sound is that the water ripples. The water droplets look like it dances. Rival males will do the same.

While the gators are doing the water dance, they also bellow. The water display is amazing to watch. This display of power is essential for the alligator to find a mate.

The secret in this water dance is this: its entire body vibrates as it makes the low-frequency sound. The alligator’s back acts like a piston that bobs up and down. Because of this, the water reacts.

Do alligators make a barking or roaring sound?

No, alligators do not make a barking sound. They also do not roar. Bark describes the sound that a dog makes while roaring is for lions. 

A roar is a prolonged sound. Alligators do not make long sounds. Most of the bellows are short. A roar also describes distress and anger, which gators do not express when they bellow.

Why do alligators chirp?

One surprising thing that people do not know is that alligators chirp even if they are inside the eggs. Once the gators are ready to hatch, they chirp inside.

When these alligators chirp, they are signaling to others that it is time to get out of the egg. The same thing goes with crocodiles.

Researchers said that chirps and squeaks are important for survival. The baby gators must all hatch at the same time, and this should prevent others from hatching late.

If a gator hatches late, it is likely to be on its own. Despite being a gator, it is a baby, and it is vulnerable to predators.


Alligators make several types of sounds. The bellow is what they use to attract females or deter a rival male. An alligator hisses if it issues a warning. Baby gators chirp to call for their brothers.

Big gators are the ones that bellow the loudest. If one hears this sound, the best course of action is to stay away. People must also be wary of a hissing gator. It means that it is protecting its nest or young or that it feels threatened and it is ready to attack.

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